Heather E. Connell is a documentary film producer and director. In 2001, she founded Displaced Yankee Productions, an independent film company dedicated to using film as a platform for raising social awareness and activism through entertainment. She is a graduate of Salem University.
Heather is known for her award-winning documentaries. Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia’s Children followed the struggles of the street and garbage dump children of Cambodia through the personal stories of five children and their journey toward education and Forget Us Not, which follows the stories of some of the five-million non-Jewish Holocaust survivors and is narrated by golden globe winning actor Ron Perlman.
Shortly after filming Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia’s Children, Connell founded Safe Haven in 2010 in memory of her beloved Cambodian foster son Sumnang who passed away at age 5 from complications related to epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Safe Haven’s family centered, multi-disciplinary approach to providing therapeutic rehabilitation, facilitating access to medical services and providing training/education to parents/caregivers aims to provide children with disability the opportunity to reach their full potential and highest level of personal independence and health.
Heather is passionately dedicated to a life of philanthropy with the goals of building sustainable programs that not only serve children with disabilities and their families but aim to provide professional opportunities and education for local staff. She is a David Chow Foundation Humanitarian Award Recipient. The David Chow Humanitarian Foundation recognizes, and rewards dedicated and caring humanitarians found among charitable, religious, scientific, literary, and educational organizations worldwide that promote man’s humanity towards man whose service of unselfish giving might otherwise go unnoticed.